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Standing up for moderation and democracy

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  • johneffay
    Born Again Nihilist
    • Sep 2005
    • 3394

    Standing up for moderation and democracy

    This made me laugh:
    At the end of his Middle East tour, Mr Blair said the ideological battle was the challenge of the 21st Century.
    And he called on the world to "wake up" to the monumental struggle between the forces of moderation and extremism (
    The idea that the head of the most dictatorial and authoritarian government that the UK has ever had sees himself as a force of moderation has got to be worth a chuckle.

    He was also quoted on the television as saying how we must stand up for democracy, whilst in the same speech condemming the fact that Hamas (who were democratically elected accoridng to international observers) are opposing early elections in Palestine, and slagging off the Iranian government whose election was actually more democratically sound than either the UK or the US.

    I have no time for either Hamas or the Iranian government, but if you really want to stand up for democracy, you can't have it both ways Tony...
    Last edited by johneffay; 12-20-2006, 12:45 AM.
  • Groakes
    • Jan 2005
    • 2512

    On the subject of "moderation" the lines from Billy Bragg's "Between the Wars" springs to mind

    I was a miner
    I was a docker
    I was a railway man
    Between the wars
    I raised a family
    In times of austerity
    With sweat at the foundry
    Between the wars

    I paid the union and as times got harder
    I looked to the government to lend a helping hand
    But they brought prosperity down at the armoury
    "We're arming for peace, me boys"
    Between the wars

    I kept the faith and I kept voting
    Not for the iron fist but for the helping hand
    For theirs is a land with a wall around it
    And mine is a faith in my fellow man
    Theirs is a land of hope and glory
    Mine is the green field and the factory floor
    Theirs are the skies all dark with bombers
    And mine is the peace we knew
    Between the wars

    Call up the craftsmen
    Bring me the draftsmen
    Build me a path from cradle to grave
    And I'll give my consent
    To any government
    That does not deny a man a living wage
    Go find the young men never to fight again
    Bring up the banners from the days gone by
    Sweet moderation
    Heart of this nation
    Desert us not, we are
    Between the wars

    Unfortunately, we seem to be in the midst of a war, rather than between them....
    Does it follow that I reject all authority? Perish the thought. In the matter of boots, I defer to the authority of the boot-maker.


    • Morgan Kane
      Lost in the multiverse
      • Jun 2006
      • 1428


      With god on our side :

      Oh my name it is nothin'
      My age it means less
      The country I come from
      Is called the Midwest
      I's taught and brought up there
      The laws to abide
      And that land that I live in
      Has God on its side.

      Oh the history books tell it
      They tell it so well
      The cavalries charged
      The Indians fell
      The cavalries charged
      The Indians died
      Oh the country was young
      With God on its side.

      Oh the Spanish-American
      War had its day
      And the Civil War too
      Was soon laid away
      And the names of the heroes
      I's made to memorize
      With guns in their hands
      And God on their side.

      Oh the First World War, boys
      It closed out its fate
      The reason for fighting
      I never got straight
      But I learned to accept it
      Accept it with pride
      For you don't count the dead
      When God's on your side.

      When the Second World War
      Came to an end
      We forgave the Germans
      And we were friends
      Though they murdered six million
      In the ovens they fried
      The Germans now too
      Have God on their side.

      I've learned to hate Russians
      All through my whole life
      If another war starts
      It's them we must fight
      To hate them and fear them
      To run and to hide
      And accept it all bravely
      With God on my side.

      But now we got weapons
      Of the chemical dust
      If fire them we're forced to
      Then fire them we must
      One push of the button
      And a shot the world wide
      And you never ask questions
      When God's on your side.

      In a many dark hour
      I've been thinkin' about this
      That Jesus Christ
      Was betrayed by a kiss
      But I can't think for you
      You'll have to decide
      Whether Judas Iscariot
      Had God on his side.

      So now as I'm leavin'
      I'm weary as Hell
      The confusion I'm feelin'
      Ain't no tongue can tell
      The words fill my head
      And fall to the floor
      If God's on our side
      He'll stop the next war.
      1963 ......


      • Morgan Kane
        Lost in the multiverse
        • Jun 2006
        • 1428

        Or :

        a traditionnal anti-war song, known in France, but from unknown origin ( you will excuse me for the crudeness of the translation ... )

        Giroflé girofla

        Que tu as de beaux champs d'orge ! Giroflé - girofla
        Ton verger de fruits regorge :
        le bon temps est là...
        Entends - tu ronfler la forge ? Giroflé - girofla
        L'canon les fauchera ,l'cannon les fauchera !

        Que tu as la maison douce ! Giroflé - girofla
        L'ombre y dort ,la fleur y pousse ,
        l' bonheur y viendra...
        Voit la lune qui devient rousse... Giroflé - girofla
        L'avion la brûlera ,l'avion la brûlera !

        Que tu as de belles filles ! Giroflé - girofla
        Dans leurs yeux ,où le soleil brille ,
        l'amour descendra...
        Sur la plaine on se fusille... Giroflé - girofla
        L'soldat les violera ,l'soldat les violera !

        Que tes fils sont forts et tendres ! Giroflé - girofla
        C'est plaisir de les entendre :
        à qui chantera !
        Dans huit jours on vients les prendre... Giroflé - girofla
        L'corbeau les mangera ,l'corbeau les mangera !

        Tant qu'y aura des militaires , Giroflé - girofla,
        soit ton fils ,soit le mien,
        on n'verra par toute la terre
        jamais rien de bien...
        On t'tuera pour te faire taire,
        par derrière comme un chien...
        Et tout ça pour rien !
        Et tout ça pour rien !

        Giroflé girofla

        How beautiful are your barley fields! Giroflé – girofla
        In your orchard, fruits abound:
        This is good time … -
        You hear the forging mill to whirr ? Giroflé - girofla
        The gun will mow them, the cannon will mow them!

        How soft is your house! Giroflé - girofla
        The shade sleeps there, the flower pushes there,
        Happiness will come there…
        See the moon which becomes russet-red… Giroflé - girofla
        The plane will burn it, the plane will burn it!

        How beautiful are your daughters! Giroflé - girofla
        In their eyes, where the sun is shining,
        Love will come down…
        On the plain, you can hear shoots … Giroflé - girofla
        The soldier will rape them, the soldier will rape them!

        How your sons are strong and tender! Giroflé - girofla
        It is pleasure of hearing them:
        Which of them will sing?
        In eight days they will be taken… Giroflé - girofla
        The crow will eat them, the crow will eat them!

        As long as there will be soldiers, Giroflé - girofla,
        Either your sons, or mine,
        Nowhere on earth, nothing good will be seen …
        You will be killed you to make you silent, from behind like a dog…
        And all that for nothing! And all that for nothing!


        • Grey Mouser
          Champion of the Balance
          • Dec 2003
          • 1433

          Originally posted by johneffay
          The idea that the head of the most dictatorial and authoritarian government that the UK has ever had sees himself as a force of moderation has got to be worth a chuckle.
          Yes, Mr Blair seems to have inherited Maggie's crown. The amount of outrageous spin and political doublespeak these days seems to be rising to Orwellian proportions.